Issue 32
Monday, September 21, 2020
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

In the last Wheeler Report, I reflected on how each person in our community has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are all important. While this belief is deeply carved into our nation's consciousness, few have dedicated their lives to the incredibly hard battle of making it a reality.

On Friday, we lost one of those people, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A US Supreme Court justice since 1993, she died on Friday at the age of 87.  She was the second woman appointed to the US Supreme Court and the first Jewish justice since 1969. While often heralded for being a champion of women's rights, she fought fiercely to ensure the liberties our country was founded on were afforded to all its people
In a 2015 interview, Justice Ginsberg was asked "when the time comes, what would you like to be remembered for?" Her response was: "As someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has. To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, 'outside myself'. ‘Cause I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid."
Rest in Peace, Justice Ginsberg. You accomplished all you wanted to and so much more. You will be missed but your legacy will not be forgotten.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Community Conversations
Panel Discussion
This past weekend, Chair Wheeler served on a virtual bipartisan panel with four other women at a meeting with over 40 members of the League of Women Voters of Prince William Area. On this centennial anniversary of the 19th amendment (Issue 27), the theme was "100 Years of Advances for Women." The panelists were asked questions focusing on the advances women have made in their profession, the future of the profession, and the path to getting there.
History Of The League
The League was officially founded in Chicago in 1920, just six months before the 19th amendment was ratified and women won the vote. Formed by the suffragists of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, they began as a "mighty political experiment" designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. For over 100 years, they have been a nonpartisan, activist, grassroots organization that believes voters should play a critical role in democracy.
Public Safety
Last week, Chair Wheeler had the opportunity to attend a meeting with approximately 50 PWC police officers and a few of their family members. In addition to hearing from them, she participated in an engaging question and answer session on a variety of current topics.
The Thin Gold Line
Thursday, September 17, Chair Wheeler spoke with the 13 Public Safety Communication graduates of Sessions 41 and 42. After completing a total of 8 weeks of training, the public safety telecommunicators will receive and process 9-1-1 emergency and non-emergency calls. Additionally, they will obtain and enter information from the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) and National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
What Is The Thin Gold Line?
Between the thin red line and the thin blue line lies the thinnest gold line. This gold line represents those who are rarely seen but mostly heard. The calm voice in the chaos, the golden glue that holds it all together.
Due Date Approaching
In response to financial challenges during the pandemic, the BOCS deferred the first half of the 2020 Real Estate Tax bill in July. The last date to pay, without penalty, is October 13, 2020. The extension applies to commercial and residential real property. Please call Real Estate Assessments at 703-792-6780 or send an email if you have questions.
The following regional and local museums and galleries have recently reopened! Before heading out, please visit the individual location's website and review their COVID-19 protocols. An advance ticket may be required.

District of Columbia
Prince William County
Upcoming Meeting
The BOCS will meet 
TuesdaySeptember 22 at 2:00 pm
The Board will break for dinner
from 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

For Public Comment Time options visit 
SpeakUp! Prince William.
Advance sign-up is required by
5:00 pm on Monday, September 21.
Summaries of the Chair's two Strategic Planning Community Conversations (Issue 28) are available. The sessions were very well attended and the conversation robust, so whether you attended or were unable to, you may find it informative to read how the participants responded to the five questions.

Next, the Strategic Planning Team will analyze all community input to identify priorities in each focus area and solicit the BOCS input. Then, they will create a draft of the Strategic Plan with goals, objectives, initiatives, and performance measures.
The Strategic Planning Community Conversations questions:
  • What do you like most about living in Prince William County?
  • What do you like least about living in Prince William County?
  • If you were in charge, what would you change about Prince William County?
  • What do you believe should be the top 3 priorities for the community over the next 4 - 5 years?
  • What other comments or insights do you want to share that would be important to PWC’s strategic planning process? 
If you would like to read your District Supervisor's community conversations, they are all available on the county's Strategic Planning website.
Once there, scroll down to section 2 Engage Community.
A Great Addition For PWC
Grand Opening
On Wednesday, September 9, Chair Wheeler participated in the Ribbon Cutting for the state of the art Balls Ford Road Composting Facility! This public-private partnership between PWC and Freestate Farms will serve the greater Northern Virginia region and process more than 80,000 tons of waste per year - a significant increase over the previous roughly 30,000 tons per year. In what is a win-win, one of the groups they will be working with is Prince William Food Rescue.
Would you like to learn more about the compost facility and take a virtual tour? Check this interesting two and a half minute video out!
Hometown Hero News
A Milestone
Since March 16, PWC Schools' Food and Nutrition Services has been providing meals in response to COVID-19 school closures. These hardworking hometown heroes just reached the 1 million meals served milestone! For many children, school is a primary source of their nutrition and the pandemic has created needs where they didn't exist before.
"You can't be hungry to learn if you're just plain hungry."
Adam Russo, Director Food and Nutrition Services
Gee Whiz!
Eleanor Sigrest, a rising senior enrolled in a dual program at Forest Park High School in Woodbridge and the Governor’s School at Innovation Park in Manassas won the 2020 Design/Build/Launch competition held by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) in partnership with Blue Origins. The competition provides the opportunity to send an experiment into space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard Rocket in 2021.

Sigrest’s project will be the first AIAA-sponsored payload to go into space. Her proposal outlined the value of her research on improving fluid management through a novel microgravity slosh mitigation technique. If Sigrest’s experiment is successful, it could simplify space travel, increase payload capacity, and save the space industry billions of dollars.
“Ever since I can remember, I’ve looked at the stars and known I want to go to space. I want to be the first person on Mars."
Eleanor Sigrest 
October Happenings
October is just around the corner and the calendar is filling up. Below are some of the events happening in the county. Visit their websites to get involved.
A night of family fun at the drive-in movies with food truck vendors, popcorn, and a classic film under the night sky. All proceeds go to support local nonprofits and their missions throughout Prince William County. To maintain social distancing, cars are staggered to give space to families and friends. A limited number of car passes are available, so get yours soon.
This year you pick when, where, and how to complete the 5K! During the event dates, participate in your neighborhood, a wooded trail, a path along a stream, a treadmill at your gym, or your own home.You can bike, kayak, stand-up paddle board, rock climb, or even chase the kids around the house.
Residents are encouraged to spend the evening outside with their families and neighbors using appropriate social distancing. Neighborhood watch programs throughout the county will host motorcade stops where police officers and other law enforcement personnel can meet neighbors.
  • Fix-it Fair - Saturday, October 17 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
A first for PWC, this free event provides the opportunity to bring salvageable items for repair and subsequent reuse. Customers will consult with the repair person, drop off the item and then pick it up when it is ready. Social distancing and masks are required to maximize the safety of fixers, volunteers and attendees. Repair work appointments and pre-registration are required. 
PWC and Manassas City Police Departments are partnering with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and community groups to provide a safe and legal way to dispose of unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter solid-dosage medications (i.e. tablets and capsules). Collection sites are Novant Health UVA Health System's Prince William Medical Center and Haymarket Medical Center, as well as Sentara Lake Ridge.
Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 470,000 residents.